Speech professor wins Creighton Award

Professor Marla Chisholm receives the Creighton Award for teaching excellence with a career spanning 25 years

Kelsey Heatley/Associate Editor

Marla Chisholm, DMC Professor of Speech Communication, was named the 10th recipient of the Creighton Award for teaching excellence.

Born and raised in a small town Poland, Ohio, Chisholm attended college at Mount Union where she graduated with in speech, drama and english with honors.

“Some students have the opportunity for their parents to pay for them to go to school. I had to take my own initiative and get loans to pay for my education. It was not easy”, Chisholm said.

Chisholm said she worked various jobs to support her education such as waitressing and being a sales-person at Macy’s.

“I understand what my students go through who balance work and school. It’s not an easy task, but with determination anyone can succeed,” Chisholm said.

She continued her education at Bowling Green State University where she earned her M.A in speech and minor in creative writing.

Chisholm first had a plan to become a play writer, but after moving from Ohio to Texas that dream became harder to pursue.

“It was a big dream but I knew that being a play writer in Corpus Christi wouldn’t be realistic,” Chisholm said.

Chisholm’s teaching career started in Corpus with a call from Incarnate Word who was looking for a speech and drama teacher. “It was the start of my teaching career I taught there for a year,” Chisholm said.

After teaching at Incarnate Word, Chisholm moved to Houston where she not only began teaching at a college level, but she also realized it’s what she was destined to do.

“Even though I had a plan of what I wanted to do life had other plans for me and I accepted it,” Chisholm said.

Chisholm teaches three different types of classes at Del Mar College;

Public speaking, Introduction to Speech Communications and Interpersonal Communication.

“I love all my classes. When my students ask me which one of my classes is my favorite, I tell them every single one,” Chisholm said.

Chisholm’s hobbies include writing, jet skiing and being a part of the National Communication Association.

“Being a part of this association has given me the opportunity to attend conventions and meet colleagues,” Chisholm said.

Chisholm said she has plans to keep teaching at DMC as well as complete a couple of goals that she’s dreamed of.

“One of my ideas is writing a story about the wonderful students that I have had, and another is a story about my mother who had Alzheimer’s. My mother was forgetful but she had such a good heart. When I’m done with teaching, I’ll be a writer,” Chisholm said.

Chisholm’s overall motivation for teaching is the success of her students. “Teaching is what I’m destined to do.  Students who succeed and show that my teaching made a difference makes me who I am: a teacher,” Chisholm said.

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